Friday Roundup

The countdown is officially on! Baby girl will be here one week from today! If you missed it, I wrote about my birth plans here. We have a busy weekend ahead with the Construction for Change banquet and last minute baby preparations. A friend asked me if nesting was as intense an instinct the second time around and I can say with confidence that is is for me! I need to deactivate my Amazon account :)

Here are a few fun and happy links to make us smile this weekend:

Made me laugh, kids are awesome.

I NEED these cat tiki mugs. Now.

I'm in a weird mood this week and these crazy couches made me smile. If Jenny and I ever actually had an office together we would HAVE to buy that bird's nest.

Funfetti fudge and confetti cookies.  Happiness!

4 tips for dining al fresco. These would be delish to serve.

Let's all go to Paris!

This week in internet slang: #mom. Gotta keep up with the kids ;)

Awesome home renovation.

Pretty much obsessed with indoor plants right now.

And I'll leave you with this, which is guaranteed to make you smile.

Did you have a birth plan?

With one week to go until baby girl arrives I've been reflecting on labor and delivery quite a lot.

Going into the Mylo's birth, I had a clear plan of action. I wanted to have a natural, drug-free labor and deliver my baby vaginally. That did not happen! I ended up with a long list of interventions and an emergency c-section under general anesthesia. I was thrilled to have a healthy baby but also deeply disappointed and a little traumatized by my labor experience after he was born.

One very unhelpful thing that people still say to me is that "people shouldn't plan out their births at all, it's the one's with long and specific birth plans who end up with disappointing experiences." Sorry, but that's just BS. I am a planner and researcher by nature. I hired a doula for my labor (HIGHLY recommend!) and read several books about labor and delivery. Although things didn't turn out as I'd hoped, I had a lot of knowledge in my head that helped inform the long labor process as I was going through it. I never felt like the situation was out of my control or I didn't have enough information to make the next decision that was presented to me.

Each person has a different mentality going into birth. For me, planning and researching is calming and makes me feel more confident. For others it makes them anxious to know about all of the options and they would rather just trust the professionals.

This time, under the advisement of my OBGYN, we are doing a planned C-section. Although I would have liked to avoid major surgery, I feel confident this is the right choice for my body, our family, and my baby. It should be a totally different experience than the first time. I'll let you know how it goes!

Did you have a birth plan? Do you prefer to plan and prepare or let things just take their course? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Dance Off!

Heres Jason's latest project. Check it out! Teresa and I both LOVE Idris, so that makes this even better! 

Friday Roundup

I'm in Charlotte this week, spending time with a friend :) I'm having a great time with her, but also looking forward to going home this weekend and hopefully enjoying some Seattle sunshine! I hope you have a great weekend too.

The fluffiest of animals incase you need a dose of cute.

Happy first kiss anniversary to one of my favorite tv couples (10 years!)

"27 Ways To Subtly Cover Your Home In Elephants"-because, why not?

I'm looking forward to a few of these summer TV shows.

How to spot fake reviews on Amazon.

I've had my eye out for a fun choker, and this one might be it. It reminds me of the ones I wore in 7th grade :)

NY Times: "In Praise of Naturally Curly Hair" :)

Image: Ring of Kerry

On Liking Your Kids: Babies and Toddlers

I had an interesting conversation with a friend recently when she asked me how I feel thinking about welcoming a new baby girl into our lives. After some thought I answered that I know I'll love my daughter, but I hope I also like her as much as Mylo.

Real talk: Mylo was a challenging baby for me. He was loving in his own way but not particularly affectionate or attached to me until around 18 months. He had no real preference for me over his other caretakers or even relatives he saw occasionally. He was SOOO energetic but frustrated by his own immobility so although he was generally happy, he was exhausting for me to be around. And I was dealing with my own feelings of loosing my independence and my changing identity.

I feel like a switch flipped with him and also for me around the time he turned a year and half. It was as if instead of just loving him with motherly love, I started to really LIKE him as a toddler in a different way than when he was a baby. The toddler years have been far superior to the baby phase for me. He is such a fascinating little person, with his own thoughts, preferences, questions, and abilities. He has also become more attached to me and is able to express his love verbally which is so true to his personality. I love getting to know my son and have grown a deep affection and enjoyment of being around him. 

As I think about welcoming baby girl into our lives I'm excited to see what kind of baby and person that she will be. But I also have realistic expectations that although I'll love her from the start, it could take time for me to truly like being around her. And that's okay. 

Would love to hear your thoughts. Did you enjoy the baby phase or the toddler phase more?

#tbt: Construction for Change- Malawi

A little over two years ago, this was Jason and me in Malawi, shooting for Construction for Change in a community called Phalombe. We were there before construction began on a multipurpose building that would serve as classroom space and a community center for the Ekari Foundation.

Fast forward two years, and the building is up and running!

Two years ago, I saw a vacant lot in the place where this new building stands.  I stood in that very spot and was told about Ekari's plans for enriching the education of the entire community- not just the children. They were also intent on reaching those who weren't afforded educational opportunities while growing up- teaching adults to read, as well as offering financial and agricultural training. I loved seeing their wholistic approach.

Now, this community has HIV/AIDS awareness classes,  higher education prep programs, computer training and more- all because there is a building to house it in. I love getting to be a small part of the process to make this happen!

If you want to read more, check out the Construction for Change blog

A Very Northwest Wedding

Seattle Bride Magazine just published a couple of photos from Barclay and Mckenna's wedding that we shot at Kiana Lodge. They chose great shots (you can see their post here!) but there were a few more that I LOVED that they didn't use, so I wanted to share them here...

Images Studio JKoe

Seattle Spotlight: Nordstrom Nail Bar!

I discovered something wonderful quite by accident the other day while wandering downtown on a Sunday morning. The newly remodeled flagship Nordstrom store has a "Nail Bar" right next to their coffee shop on the main floor. What's so special about that? Well let me tell you.

When you get there you can go wander the entire cosmetics and skincare floor and pick ANYTHING you want to use during your mani/pedi. That's right, any nail polish, any lotion or scrub...on the whole floor. I choose super fancy Dior nail polish and this fabulous champagne scented lotion from Fresh. It was luxurious, affordable and fun. Check it out.

Friday Roundup

Happy Friday! And Happy Mother's Day! Its going to be a beautiful weekend here in Seattle, I'm excited to soak up some sun and do some nesting -- baby girl will be here in THREE weeks! Eeek! What are you up to this weekend?

Still need a Mother's Day gift? 30/30 Project has you covered!

These videos are so mesmerizing to me. (ATTN: Jenny)

I'm not sure I'm brave to do something like this but I love this kitchen.

What to read this spring.

DIY pet photo pajamas!!

Amazing rainbow baby shower and FRIENDS themed bridal shower!

Indoor plant trends I'm loving.

Countdown to summer drinking begins -- baby is almost here! Cucumber ginger margaritas, yes please.

Decorating on a budget.

Here's to the '90's -- Disney + Titanic.


Happy Birthday Audrey

I know it's a bit cliche to say that Audrey Hepburn is my favorite actress, but she's definitely at the top of my list. There really are so many reasons to love her. From her classic roles and iconic style to her humanitarian work, she was truly an amazing woman who used her iconic status to do good. Today would have been her 87th birthday.

While Breakfast at Tiffany's, Roman Holiday and Sabrina are wonderful classic movies, my favorite movies Audrey did are easily Two for the Road and Charade.

More importantly, I have a deep admiration for how Audrey chose to use her fame to promote causes she believed in. Audrey experienced UNICEF relief first hand as a child after World War II and her experience lead her to become a Goodwill Ambassador in 1989.  She spent the last few years of her life working tirelessly as an advocate for children around the world.

PS. Which Audrey Hepburn Character Are You? I got Sabrina :)

Top Image, Bottom Image

Tea Party Baby Shower

Yesterday we celebrated baby girl with a tea party themed shower that my sister threw me here in Seattle! It was the perfect weather and the perfect group of women to celebrate with. I left the shower feeling so filled up with love and excited to introduce my girl to this incredible group of ladies that will help raise her. Here are some pictures!